A Caritas report published in Rome on Thursday confirms that Romanians are the largest foreign community in the country, with an estimated number of 1,016,000 people. The estimation is the maximum level within a 10-15% error margin. according to the report, foreigners in Italy cover some two thirds of the employment needs, Romanians ranking first in annual employment. The Romanian community contributes with 1.2% of the gross national product (GDP).
Even in the minimal estimations on the number of Romanians in Italy - 850,000 - the community remains larger than any other nationality, the most numerous after Romanians being Albanians and Moroccans. It is for the first time Caritas publishes a figure of one million Romanians, although several association repeatedly published the number.
Some 750,000 of all Romanians are in working with legal papers in Italy. 557,000 are employees and 16,000 have their own businesses. 56,000 are officially unemployed.
Other 239,000 are in Italy to reunite with their families, 116,000 of them being minors.
Most Romanians live in the Lazio region (200,000), followed by Rome (100,00), Piedmont (130,000) and Veneto (120,000). Less Romanians are found in the Southern regions, where the job opportunities are scarce.
Only 6.6% of Romanians work in agriculture, while over 50% found jobs in IT, medical assistance, hotels and restaurants. Despite being better prepared than the Italian average, Romanians earn an average of 10,042 euro per year, less than an Italian with the same qualifying degree. Romanian women earn 40% than their men.
Romanians are also the leading minority in crimes - homicides, rapes, grand theft auto, breaking and entering, drugs trafficking and credit card cloning. Most of the victims are Romanian citizens as well.
The report also signals the biased information published by the media, as well as the lack of information, legal assistance and training.
10,000 Romanians bought homes in Italy in 2007 only, a signal that most Romanians would prefer to establish their residence in Italy.